Who would have imagined the changes?Published 10:13am Monday, December 26, 2011
By Julie Seedorf, Something About Nothing
The year 2012 is almost here. I was contemplating all the changes in technology and our society that we have experienced this year. Changes that as a child of the ’50s and a teenager of the ’60s I would have never believed had someone predicted those changes for the future.
I would have never believed if someone had told me that in 2011 we would be talking on phones that did not have a cord and could send messages all over the world in a matter of seconds and take pictures and play music.
I was watching some DVDs of my old soap opera “As the World Turns.” They were shows from the ’70s and it took me awhile to figure out why they were always looking for phones. I almost shouted at the awkwardness of the cords and the size of the big phones. There were no cell phones in the ’70s or, if there were, they were not largely used. If we needed a phone outside of our home, there were phone booths.
I never would have believed as I watched my large console TV with rabbit ears that we would be streaming movies through a wireless box without cords to our flatscreen TV sets. How would they do that?
Or that we could watch movies on a small pad that we could hold in our hands? I never could have imagined keeping in touch with my friends with a program like Skype that would instantly put me in touch with them and let me see them while we talk rather than waiting for the long awaited communication from overseas.
I never would have believed that I could take a picture with a phone and send it without wires to my printer and print it out. I never would have believed that my phone could track me everywhere I go and let people know where I am every second.
I never would have believed that there would be cameras watching us everywhere on the street for our safety. I never imagined technology the way it is today.
I also never would have imagined that in 2011 it would not be safe for our children to be alone in stores and malls or even in our own neighborhoods.
I never would have believed if someone had told me that there would be many, many homeless people including homeless children living on the streets of America.
I never would have believed that there would have been so many people without jobs.
I never would have believed that so many people would lose their homes in our country because of unscrupulous banking practices.
I never would have believed that we all would struggle with health care because of high costs of premiums and high deductibles that most of us can’t afford or that there would be a shortage of cancer drugs for those who need it. I never would have believed if I had been told that in 2011 higher leadership might be corrupt and that the middle class would be on the verge of disappearing.
I never would have believed that in 2011 we would have to lock our houses and lock our cars because we could not trust that someone would not steal from us.
In the ’50s and ’60s I believed in the goodness of people. I believed in the excitement of changes in technology never thinking it would be where it is today. I believed most people had integrity, honesty and a belief in a higher power that guided them.
I still believe in the goodness of people. I still believe we live in a great country. I still believe in the integrity of people. Maybe these problems were all there in the 1960s, but because we didn’t have the technology we do today we didn’t hear about it and it was easier to keep the faith.
We always talk about how great the olden days were. While we were living in the olden days we didn’t always think they were so great. They weren’t great until the future when we didn’t understand life as it is today. Perhaps we will look back someday and think that today, even with our problems, were the good old days.
My wish for 2012 is that we find a solution to homelessness, joblessness, health care and whatever else we are struggling with. My wish for 2012 is that we find the goodness in people and continue to believe that together our country can work. Perhaps we can use the exciting new technology that we can’t even imagine is in our future to make 2012 the year of solutions.
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.